Dak Prescott fully understands more is expected from him and his team knows he’s the man for the job - Todd Archer, ESPN
Being the self-aware veteran that he is, Dak Prescott understands that he needs to perform better. Though he made a few mistakes last week, Prescott very much is held in esteem by his team. Prescott has got unwavering support from the players and the coaches.
“I’m my biggest critic, honestly, so if there’s a ball on the ground, I feel like I need to get better. Simple as that,” Prescott said. “As far as doing more, I’ve got to stay within the game plan, but at the same sense, there’s certain times when looking back at it, maybe I should have extended the play, not necessarily ran, but got out of the pocket and try to make something happen more than what was there. That’s going to definitely come, and just practicing it makes it pay off on Sundays.”Prescott’s teammates know he will respond.
“He’s made up the right stuff, right?” All-Pro right guard Zack Martin said. “I mean we talk about it all the time. This is my opinion, if you do things the right way and prepare the right way, things are going to work out in the long run. Everyone’s got their [poor] games, their weeks, but if you prepare the right way like he does: 1) it’s contagious and 2) it usually works out in your favor.”A year ago, Dak Prescott was in the MVP conversation — the Dallas Cowboys need him to perform at that level again.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said, “He’s a leader. He’s been there before. We’ve all played in a playoff game, granted we haven’t won, but they’ve been first overall in the division. They’ve had the first-round bye. They understand what it feels like to play in a second round, so experience is everything around these type of times.
“It is November, late in the season, we’re starting to get to crunch time, so everything is important. Knowledge is everything. So you listen to the guys that have the most experience and understand what it takes to come out of the situation victorious.”
With the times changing and so many NFL teams looking for coaches that tailor their systems to their players, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a coach who is able to relate to their players is in demand. There’s nothing more relatable to an NFL player than playing for a former one. Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore highlights a list of ex-players tabbed as the top head coaching candidates.
Moore was Dallas’ offensive coordinator by 2019, and he’s started to build buzz as a head-coaching candidate since then. He interviewed with the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and the Jaguars this past offseason but did not receive an offer. After yet another season of solid offense—Dallas ranks 11th in scoring, despite missing starting QB Dak Prescott for five games, Moore could be even more coveted.
His work with backup quarterback Cooper Rush (4-1 as a starter) shouldn’t be understated. Dallas has a strong defense (fifth in points allowed) and offensive weapons like CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz and Tony Pollard. However, Moore deserves a ton of credit for steering the ship offensively.
Players like Prescott have lauded Moore’s knowledge and creativity.
“Genius phenom,” Prescott said, per Scott Spruill of Yakima Herald-Republic. “He’s special. He knows a lot about the game, just the way he sees the game, the way he’s ahead of the game. He can bring a lot to us, a lot of creativity.”
If anyone was somehow still unaware of how talent-latent the Minnesota Vikings were, here’s a succinct analysis of their star power.
Justin Jefferson, WR: The best wideout in football has become an unstoppable force as the centerpiece of the Vikings’ offense. Jefferson has six 100-yard games in 10 outings while totaling 1,060 yards on 69 catches. With the Vikings intent on getting No.18 touches all over the field, the defense has to pay attention to his whereabouts on every play.
Dalvin Cook, RB: Although the Vikings have shifted from a ground-and-pound attack to an aerial circus, Cook is still a key component of the offensive puzzle. The sixth-year pro is on pace to notch his fourth straight 1,000-yard season on the ground while topping the 40-catch mark for the fifth consecutive year. As a dynamic runner-receiver in space, Cook poses a serious problem to the defense when he gets the ball in the open field.
Za’Darius Smith, EDGE: The veteran pass rusher has played A-plus football for the Vikings as a designated disruptor at the line of scrimmage. Defensive coordinator Ed Donatell has aligned Smith at various positions along the frontline to enable him to take advantage of mismatches on critical downs. With 9.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss, Smith is a headache for opponents as a versatile defender with pass-rush skills.
Cowboys safety speaks about the recent struggles in stopping the run - Christian Cline, Inside the Star
The Dallas Cowboys defenders are a proud group, and akin to their quarterback, they know what’s been said about their inability to defend the run as of late. Safety Jayron Kearse shared his thoughts on the subject.
It’s a fair assessment to call out this defense, which is severely lacking when it comes to stopping the run. The Cowboys’ defense allowed the Packers to put up 203 rushing yards against them last Sunday and gave up 240 rushing yards to the Chicago Bears two weeks before that.
Kearse later continued, saying:
“We’re 6-3, the sky is not falling, but if you don’t have a sense of urgency moving forward with how last week went, the week before the bye week – then you need to gut-check yourself and look in the mirror.”
Kearse is right – the sky is NOT falling, but it could very quickly. The Cowboys will see star running backs Dalvin Cook and Saquon Barkley within four days of each other next week when the Cowboys play the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and the New York Giants on Thanksgiving.
It will be no small task to attempt to contain Dalvin Cook or Saquon Barkley, but the Cowboys need answers on stopping the run before Sunday. Make no mistake about it, the Cowboys could find themselves in deep trouble for the playoff race if they struggle to stop opposing teams from running the ball consistently against them.
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